France continues to go from strength to strength, having gained five places since 2019, in the Global Innovation Index 2021 rankings, published on September 20, 2021, by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).


Out of the 132 countries classified, France stands out in terms of its creativity, finishing sixth (up seven places compared with 2020), particularly in terms of industrial design patents boosted by the strength of innovation in the scientific and industrial sectors (up 13 places). It should be noted that France is second in Europe for the number of patents filed and fifth worldwide according to the European Patent Office.


These very encouraging results once again testify to French businesses’ competitiveness and France’s attractiveness and come as it is confirmed in the EY France Attractiveness Survey, published in June 2021, that France remains top in Europe for the number of foreign investment projects, particularly for R&D projects.


France has proven particularly attractive for venture capital investment in innovation (ninth place), as well as talent in innovative sectors (13th place), as seen by the growth of the French startup ecosystem: the number of unicorns (startups which are valued at over US$1 billion) has increased six-fold since 2015, rising from three to 18.


This progression is the result of the Government's commitment to foster innovation, in particular through the PACTE Act, which made the terms of collaboration between researchers and businesses more flexible and strengthened industrial property, not to mention the “Deep Tech” plan, which provided additional funding to the most technological startups.


WIPO also notes that France clearly stood out during the Covid-19 crisis: French businesses were protected, which enabled them to strengthen their investments in innovation and entrepreneurship, despite the pandemic.